U.S. WOMEN'S AMATEUR
Green 'Inspired' by Fellow Aussie Karrie Webb
August 12, 2015 | Portland, Ore.
By Lisa D. Mickey
It’s not a typical day for an amateur golfer to look up and see one of the world’s top professionals following their round.
But that’s exactly what Australian Hannah Green experienced in the final round of stroke play Tuesday afternoon in the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship at Portland Golf Club.
Sometime during her 12th hole, she noticed World Golf Hall of Fame member and LPGA Tour veteran Karrie Webb standing in the tree line. Webb, in town for this week’s Cambia Portland Classic at Columbia Edgewater Country Club, had driven over to support the Aussie teen as she attempted to qualify for match play.
“Karrie sent me a message saying she was going to come out to watch, but she didn’t say when she was coming,” said Green, 18, of Perth. “That was really nice and it was good that I played well and she saw it.”
Not only did Green qualify for Wednesday’s Round of 64, but she also won her first match, 3 and 2, over Brigitte Dunne, of Camarillo, Calif., to set up a Round-of-32 match with 2015 North & South Women’s Amateur champion Bailey Tardy.
This summer has offered other highlights for Green, who was runner-up at the 2015 ISPS Handa New Zealand Women’s Open.
Green was the top finisher in the annual Karrie Webb Series, an Australian tournament series for amateurs that Webb started in 2007. The series awards points to the top performers.
As the winner of the 13-tournament series, Green and runner-up Julienne Soo were each awarded a scholarship of 10,000 Australian dollars to supplement tournament travel expenses. Both teens also were flown to last month’s U.S. Women’s Open at Lancaster (Pa.) Country Club, where they had an up-close view of how the two-time champion prepared and competed. For Green, it was the first time she met Webb.
“Karrie is an idol to most of us of Aussie girls, so that was pretty overwhelming to meet her and to spend the Open week with her,” said Green.
That first meeting was a little intimidating for the teens. Green and Soo made the long trip from Australia, caught a shuttle from the Philadelphia airport to the house Webb had rented for the week and arrived around 9:30 p.m.
“We walked up to the house and knocked on the door, hoping it was the right house,” said Green, laughing. “She opened the door, told us to come in and bring our stuff. After 40 hours of travel – looking a mess – there we were, hanging out with Karrie Webb. It was a bit crazy.”
Webb played a Sunday practice round that week with three other Australian qualifiers who were former scholarship winners: 2012 U.S. Girls’ Junior champion Minjee Lee, two-time U.S. Women’s Amateur quarterfinalist Su Hyun Oh and Breanna Elliott. Green noticed how Webb interacted with fans and media, experiences that have helped Green prepare for major events such as the U.S. Women’s Amateur.
“When Karrie is about to hit the ball, her pre-shot routine always has the same timing, is always consistent and she doesn’t hit the ball until she is 100 percent ready,” said Green. “That’s something that I can do to make my game a lot better.”
Fortunately, Green has an open line to Webb. And Webb, who is paying it forward, was inspired to help Australian amateurs after she was mentored by Greg Norman and brought to the United States as a teen to shadow the two-time major champion and former world No. 1 at one of his tournaments.
“Karrie said we’re welcome to call her any time if we ever have problems or need any help,” said Green, who was the 2014 Western Australia Junior Golfer of the Year.
Green was “inspired” watching Webb earlier this summer and hopes to follow in her footsteps in the professional ranks.
“Watching Karrie at the Open this year motivated me to play the best golf that I can,” said Green. “And when she made time to come and watch me play golf here this week – with her amazing record and all the championships she’s won – it’s like wow, this is crazy and pretty cool.”
Lisa D. Mickey is a Florida-based freelance writer whose work has previously appeared on USGA websites.